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“I’m here to talk to you about the Avenger Initiative.” Has any movie line ever had a greater impact on the industry itself? Samuel L. Jackson’s cameo as Nick Fury in 2008’s Iron Man was monumental, portending infinite possibilities to come. Yet for such an important, jaw-dropping moment, actor Samuel L. Jackson filmed the cameo in a shockingly short amount of time, as he explained:
I was there maybe an hour and a half, because I think at that time, I had my own mustache and goatee.
There you have it: having your facial hair ready to go and already looking like a comic book character makes for a short day at the office. It only took an hour and a half to film a cameo that introduced Samuel L. Jackson’s character Nick Fury and would set up the biggest franchise in cinematic history. That is about as short and sweet as it comes.
In his recollection to Vanity Fair, it is unclear if Samuel L. Jackson was filming the cameo for an hour and a half or if it was an hour and a half all in, but it sounds like the latter. If that’s the case and he was only there that long, that means that with his facial hair good to go, he went through makeup and wardrobe, filmed the cameo to completion and was out of there in less than Iron Man’s runtime.
The post-credits scene in Iron Man may be less than a minute long, but this is still a quick clip to get everything accomplished. It fits though, as Nick Fury is not one for dilly-dallying or wasting time; he’s an efficient spy who gets in, does the job and gets out. Samuel L. Jackson must take a similar approach given how many movies he’s in.
It’s fascinating to look back on that post-credits scene now and to view it with the benefit of hindsight. What was an hour and a half’s worth of work for Samuel L. Jackson set the stage for a new cinematic model and a franchise unlike any other. Also, while it didn’t invent the post-credits scenes, it established them as something to be expected and obsessed over.
Speaking of movies that will presumably have post-credits scenes, Samuel L. Jackson will reprise his role as Nick Fury in next month’s Captain Marvel. That film is set in the '90s and will see Nick Fury as we’ve never seen him before: younger and with binocular vision, long before he snuck into the homes of billionaires to discuss superhero teams. Samuel L. Jackson has a major role in that film, and unless he has a Time Stone, it definitely took him longer than an hour and a half to film it all.
Captain Marvel blasts into theaters on March 8. For all of the biggest movies heading to theaters this year, check out our 2019 release schedule.